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York MP Says Women Could Lose Right to Equal Pay


7:46am 17th January 2013

Workers could lose rights like equal pay for women, paid holidays and controls over working hours, according to a York MP.

Hugh Bayley, who represents York Central, asked a question in parliament about Conservative plans to get employment powers back from the European Union.

Here's the exchange between the Labour MP and David Cameron in Prime Ministers' Questions:

Hugh Bayley says, the Prime Minister refused to back a proposal from 130 Conservative backbenchers for Britain to opt out of the European Equal Pay Directive.  Earlier in the day he adds, the Conservative Fresh Start group published a “Manifesto for Change” which urged David Cameron to seize back from the EU all of its social and employment law including the Equal Pay Directive which guarantees equal pay for the UK’s 13.7 million women workers.


Hugh Bayley MP says:


“European Union decisions are always a compromise between the 27 member states.  We don’t always get everything we want but the EU does more good than harm.  Equal pay for women is just one example.


“Three and a half million British jobs depend on exports to the EU.  Our standard of living is higher because we are a member.  We are Europe’s financial services centre, but we’d lose investment and jobs if we opted out of Europe.  And we’d have less influence over global policy on trade and climate change if we tried to go it alone.


“I am glad the Prime Minister didn’t pander to his Eurosceptic backbenchers on equal pay for women.  We need to defend the good things Europe does to improve our quality of life.  He says he’ll write to me about this and I look forward to seeing what he has to say.”

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